Not to be confused with the really quite dreadful Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, this is a bizarre and unsettling little film from South Korea. It isn’t a retelling of the classic fairy tale, although there are elements taken from that story.
This Hansel and Gretel follows a young man who, after becoming lost in the woods, is taken by a little girl to a house deep in the forest. There he meets her brother, sister and parents. He’s offered a bed for the night. The phone lines are down [groan]. He must wait for them to be fixed before he can call to get his car fixed and be on his way. I don’t want to say any more about the plot on the minute off-chance that you might ever watch this.
Hansel and Gretel is very definitely a slow burner. But, with sumptuous, colourful sets and an intriguing story you might not mind. The kids are at once vulnerable and frightening, and this creates a sense of dread which builds gradually and leads to a somewhat predictable but relatively satisfying conclusion. Stylish and creepy is a hard combination to pull off but I think they managed it.